Life is really full of lots of twists and turns. If you have followed my blog you will know that my family life has had many turns and twists. You can read more, which sums it all up right here: http://elizabethonthego.blogspot.com/2008/10/abandonment.html
I value family so deeply. I look at our immediate family and think how God has blessed me. All of my children did not come in the most honorable of ways yet even then, through the grace and severe mercy of God I am blessed with not just an abundance of children but children who are truly lovely in so many ways. I value family so deeply that I can remember at the age of sixteen I began a prayer journey for God to teach me how to love and serve my family without the video’s of a hurtful past brought into my own parenting. Even there through Him, and being in constant prayer God has spared my own children from my past of wounds and hurts from the parenting I received.
Last night I attended a “family” Christmas party of a large family in which I chose to exit out of around the age of 15 years. My step-dad was not such a nice person. Once removed from that home and into the arms of another family I never looked back. I attached the hurts of that family to all extended family. Also at that time I did exit from everyday life of my natural mother and step-dad. Think about it, if the state has removed me from this home it must have been pretty bad and it was. Why would I revisit these hurts if God had now blessed me with the love and care of another family? Sadly as years would pass I would soon lose the day to day interactions with that second family. This time not my choices, but theirs in that I had chosen a path in my life that was not acceptable.
For years my life became very full with my immediate family and having no real family left me realizing my role to establish life long security in our family unit. I married David, my second husband who embraced those deep family values of security, love, kindness and truly I can say we are a match made in Heaven. David loves to be involved in all aspects of running a household together. He will spend a Saturday baking, while I decorate. He will take the time to unroll lights and allow an eager seven year old to jump in to help. I embrace our family and everyday thank God for the blessings of trusting me with five little sillies as I often call them.
Going back to last night’s party, left me with a lot of thinking in the last few hours. This is the family of my past. The family that, as I child believed they sat back and watched the hurt among the children under their brother’s care, my step-dad. As I walked into this party of a very large family, five aunts, two uncles, and my cousins, I realized in one evening how I carried the hurts of this past for over 25 years. I did not know it. I realized in one evening how I have robbed myself and my children the blessing of knowing these wonderful people. I got in the car and called David who was not able to attend in that he was fighting the same chest cold I have battled. I talked the entire way home. As pulled into our drive I was laughing realize I could not say enough about this family of my past.
Seeing all my cousins that I grew up with camping, running around all day on farms, climbing apple trees, many family gatherings at the coast, the holidays, a family that I had written off as just like the step-dad. I learned that they all really did not know the details of what happened in “that house”. I watched as each person at this party embraced my children. There were so many who wanted to know the details of my life and then my cousins who had grown up just like me, with lovely families of their own.
I can honestly say that I did not realize the hurts that I carried from that part of my life. I was invited to this party and felt not an ounce of anxiety, yet wondered what it might be like to step back into this past that has been long buried.
I wrote on my facebook comment in the last 24 hours something along the lines of “how sad to hang onto the hurts of the past and thus rob ourselves of the joys of today and our future”. In order for me to have gone to that party I had to speak wisdom into my own life…..sounds silly I know…..but as I drove to this house I prayed that God would give me peace, joy, and love for this family of my past. I left that evening with the blessing of extended family. I left the party with a love for my cousins and their children who did not even wonder where these three extra boys came from. I came away with the blessing of knowing that time does heal, I just hope in other things in my life it’s not 25 years in the making.
I said to David when I came home that it is sad to have not known this family for over 25 years. And in typical male fashion he said “honey it is what it is” and then he asked if they enjoyed his homemade mints.
As you read this I hope this stirs up some of your past. I hope it stirs the things that seemed to be filled with hurts, only to realize that by a little mind reframing can turn out to be beautiful. It is the Christmas season and Jesus came to bring light to a dark world. What is dark in your world and needs to see the light? What broken relationship needs to embrace that baby Jesus who came to save hard hearts, wounds, and a past? I am blessed by the Wiggins family. If any of you are reading this please know one thing, each one of you blessed my heart at this party…right down to the bacon wrapped smokies. Merry Christmas!!